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This copy of The Elongated Coin box is a special preview version available to 
the attendees of the 1° Annual Kansas City, Kansas EC meet. It is my hope that 
this will be the first of many publications on various EC topics. Similarly it is my 


hope that the Kansas City EC meet be the first of many as well. 


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The Elongated Coin Box 


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By: Tyler D. Tyson 2008 a 


The Elongated Coin Box 


Copyright © 2008 Tyler Tyson 


AJl rights reserved. No part of this booklet may be reproduced by 


any means without the written permission from the author. 


First Printing 2008 
(250 Copies) 


XXKXXXXXKXXAXKANKKAXKAAXAKAXAKKAAKARNAAKKKAN 
SPECIAL PERMISSION: Permission is granted strictly to the sample 
list and rules form to be used for personal, non-commercial use only. 


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The Elongated Coin Box 


Table of Contents 


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What, Why and How............ccccccece eee ecees 8 
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Participant Duties.................ccc cece eee e eee 18 
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The Elongated Coin Box 


Introduction: 

So perhaps you’ ve heard of the fabled penny box and you've 
wondered if they really exist? Or perchance you’ ve participated in one in 
the past and have contemplated creating one yourself and you have been 
uncertain on how to get started. Whatever the case may be, I hope this 
booklet helps in your quest and provide answers to your questions. 

Most of the chat on the internet concerning a penny box often claims 
that one is rumored to be in circulation, but those who have signed up have 
never received it, never seen it. It’s possible you might hear over and over 
“Where is it at?” Even its whereabouts are often unknown. At times these 
boxes might seem as elusive as Bigfoot! 

Some time ago I participated in my first penny box, and enjoyed 
adding a great hoard of elongates to my collection. While I had the box in 
my possession I took the time to take notes and evaluate its contents. | 
contemplated about the pros and cons associated with the way it was put 
together and supervised. 

Like many EC related discussions. I found very little printed material 
on the topic of the coin box. Therefore, | decided to put together my own 
coin box in order to observe its journey as it progressed along the trail 
between the participants. As it Icft each location. | emailed each person and 
asked for feedback, positive or negative. | wanted to get a feel for what 
worked and what didn’t. Contained herein is what [ learned. 

My thoughts on how a coin box should operate Is in no way inclusive, 


but should be looked at as a guideline for those who might have questions 


The Elongated Coin Box 


about them. It is my hope that you will be able to take what I have here and 
create your own box for trading. There can be many interesting variations 
that you can incorporate into your own box design and rules you can use to 
govern the movements. 


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About Tyler Tyson: 
I’ve been collecting and rolling elongates for a few years now and 
during that time I’ve looked for information concerning these flattened 


pieces of artwork. There are a few catalogs of private rollers’ works, and 


Wi 


The Elongated Coin Box 


older designs, but it didn’t seem like much was available for the typical 
collector. I’ve decided to put what information I’ve collected during the last 
few years into a couple booklets for collectors. By no means is the 
information contained herein considered comprehensive or how things 
necessarily should be, it’s just what ve observed and I’d like to share. 
Take it or leave it for what it’s worth. 

First I will start by telling you a little bit about myself. I’ve lived all 
of my life throughout the Midwest: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa. All 
of my adult life I’ve lived in Wichita, KS. I’m a graduate of Wichita State 
University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, with 
a minor in mathematics. So, if you see any spelling, punctuation, or errors 
in general, please forgive me! I’ve studied too much math and science; I 


should have taken more English classes during my formal education process. 


How my interest in elongates began: 

[ still remember the first elongated coin that I ever rolled on a vended 
machine, and I still have that very coin in my collection to this day. On one 
of my visits to the local zoo I ran across one of the elongated machines. At 
that time there were two machines, one rolled quarters, the other cents. I 
was short on quarters because this is the same area they had the vending 
machines for water and pop. Being a typical dry and hot 100+ degree day in 
Kansas, my first priority was a bottle of water. While sitting around and 
sipping the water I went to look at these odd machines and I was fascinated 
by the whole process. I decided to use a couple of the quarters I had left to 
roll one of the pennies. I was smitten with the thought of making a souvenir 
out ofa penny. The design J rolled was of a hippo (now retired), and yes it 


was on zinc. 


The Elongated Coin Box 


Many years passed and when I did encounter another machine I would 
roll one of the coins. It never crossed my mind to bring extra change and 
roll all of them. In a half a dozen years I might have collected a dozen coins 
total. These souvenirs proudly held a spot in the bottom of my camera bag. 
Occasionally I would pull all of them out and place them in lines on the floor 
or table and just look at them. I thought they were so cool. One day while 
searching on the internet I found I wasn’t alone... And on that day part of 
my life had changed. It might sound funny to some, but my few coins have 
since exploded into a collection of tens of thousands. Vacations and daily 
life skirts the world of elongates all the time. My wife has learned to accept 
them, I’m sure she doesn’t feel she has a choice since they can be found just 
about everywhere in the house. 

My obsession grew and in 2005 I purchased my first rolling machine 
off a retired local roller here in Wichita. Mr. Simmons had been a coin 
designer and member of the TEC group in the mid to late 80’s. I was 
shocked and surprised that a roller lived in the very town I lived; it seemed 
to be a great stroke of luck. I bought his machine and dies, but didn’t feel 
like I had come into my own as a roller until J had designed and rolled a few 
of my own elongates. 

These days, I prefer the camaraderie of my fellow collectors. I spend 
more time rolling private issues for myself and associates than I do rolling 
on vended machines. Private issues have a more personal feel to me. 
However, I started on the vended machines and would still roll some to this 


day if I ran across a striking design. 


The Elongated Coin Box 


What is a coin box? 

The elongated coin box is a package of coins put together by an 
individual or group of individuals (see Seeding the Box in the Terminology 
section), that are referred to as the moderator. The moderator then puts 
together a list of participants and then sends the coins to the first name on 
the list. Upon receipt, that participant trades out clongates according to the 
rules of the box. When that individual is done, it is common to cross their 
name off the printed list enclosed in the box and send it to the next person on 
the list. 

This process continues until the coin box completes Its circuit and 
returns to the moderator. A successful mission will move with relative 
speed avoiding prolonged snags, or even the rare possibility of the package 
being lost in the mail. 

With luck, each participant in turn will trade coins in and out of the 
box upholding the integrity of the box’s contents. In the end, the box should 
return to its starting point (the moderator), free of coins that might be 


considered trash. 


Why even create a coin box? 

A coin box is created in order to trade large numbers of elongates. 
You never actually know what will return in the long run; you might be 
pleasantly surprised. The payoff is not only to add new coins to your 


collection, but to interact with your fellow elongated coin collectors. 


How to get started: 
If you are considering starting a coin box, you should think about how 


you want to run it. There are forms in this booklet to help you move along, 


The Elongated Coin Box 


sample rules, and blank lists. Please feel free to use these to keep track of 
your coin box. Most coin boxes are based on a set number of coins, 100 or 
more coins seem to be a good quantity to keep participants interested. 
Though I’ve never lost a box, or known anybody who has, it is always 
important to mention that you shouldn’t send out more coins than you are 
willing to possibly lose. Anything can happen once the package is out of 


your hands. 


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Basic four- step process: 

By following these simple four steps, a moderator can quickly and 
easily assemble a coin box and begin trading. Review each step, and using 
the forms enclosed tn this booklet your job as a moderator will be fast and 


simple. 


The Elongated Coin Box 


Step 1, Selecting the box type: 
Many coin boxes are topical, listed below are some sample ideas on 


types of boxes you can start. The simplest box will probably be the most 


successful. 
AJl Copper Retired Anything Goes 
All Zincs Oldies Foreign 
Sets Only Private Issues The Mouse 
By State L008 Oddities” 
Amusement Parks Silver coins Non-Zinc 
Vended Only California Sports 


It is important to note that anything besides the basic box is difficult 
to find participants for. Though most collectors might have a good number 
of oldies, it would be tough to determine a trade value on certain coins. If 
you found the right crowd of “heavy hitters” you might have a very 


successful box. 


Step 2, Rules: 

So you’ve decided on the type of box you wish to operate, and you’ve 
selected a number of coins you wish to start with. The second step in 
operating the box is putting together a set of rules. Enclosed is a sample set 
of rules that may work with your box. Please review them and feel free to 
use them in their entirety or in part. It is important to let the participants 
know what they are getting into, and that they agree that they will abide by 
the box instructions. Ifit’s an all copper box, the last thing you want is a 


bunch of zincs returning in the box. Familiarize yourself with the terms 


The Elongated Coin Box 


listed in this booklet, some of which are used to describe actions that you 
might wish to include in your rules. 
Step 3, A call for participants: 

A penny box is useless without its participants. Once the moderator 
puts together the box and formulates the rules, it is typical to call out to 
fellow collectors in order to find interested individuals willing to take part in 
the festivities. These volunteers are referred to as the participants. 

It is important for the moderator to collect data from these individuals 
such as Name, Mailing Address, and E-mail. This data is critical, and the 
most important part needed to create your list. Phone numbers are a little 
tricky. Most individuals these days are leery about giving out their 
numbers, and in the best case scenario a phone number shouldn’t be needed. 
The information obtained from the prospective participants will be used to 
create a list. 

When the moderator makes the offer to join the penny box, the 


content and rules should be made available and agreed upon at that time. 














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Step 4, The list: 


When creating a list I often try to take into consideration the 


participant’s locations. It’s kind of like seating arrangements at a formal 


dinner. It doesn’t make sense to put two participants in approximately the 


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The Elongated Coin Box 


same location immediately after one another. Chances are they will probably 
have a similar pool of extra coins to trade from the local area machines. To 
allow a good variance in the box, it’s wise to chose participants in remotely 
different areas to follow one another numerically on the list. 

Some participants may request to be put toward the beginning of the 
list; others might request the opposite end of the spectrum and ask to be 
added to the latter half of the list. For whatever reason these requests are 
made, it’s usually simple to incorporate these requests and decide how you 
will then shuffle the participants into an ordered list. A blank form (Coin 
Box List) is enclosed in this booklet. Feel free to copy it for your personal 
use; filling in the blanks will make your job much easier. 

As the moderator, it’s important to make sure you put your address 


last if you wish the package of coins to return to your location. 


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The Elongated Coin Box 


MODERATOR 
DUTIES 


The Elongated Coin Box 


MODERATOR DUTIES: 
The duties of the moderator are fairly basic. Below is a list of the 
primary responsibilities the moderator should complete. Keeping notes and 


monitoring movements are the primary goals for a moderator. 


1. Design & assemble the box contents: After deciding what you’re going 
to put in the box, choose the appropriate coins and try to assemble a good 
mixture. The actual box/package itself is important to note, because most 
coin boxes travel via postal service. Consider the best method for shipping, 
such as flat rate envelope or flat rate box, and what the approximate postage 
will be. This might be a relevant fact to inform participants of when asking 
them to sign up. Many new collectors might be surprised that it can cost $5 - 
$11 to ship the coin box to its next location. I’ve found it easiest to place the 
actual coins in a strong reusable package inside the postal envelope such as a 
zippered bank bag with your name marked in black permanent marker on the 
outside. [f the package becomes compromised in any way during shipping, 
a sturdy inner package will help keep the contents intact. 

In addition to the actual coins, some sample items that should be 
placed within the box are: a copy of the List, Rules, extra 2X2 zip lock bags, 
and the moderator’s contact information. Other ttems pertaining to the box 


topic can be placed within the interior as well. 


2. Formulating rules: As a moderator it’s important to note any pet peeves 
you might have in your rules. If you wish the box to be shipped in a certain 
type of envelope with insurance and/or delivery confirmation, note it in your 


rules. 


The Elongated Coin Box 


Trade ratios (if applicable), acceptable and unacceptable coins, and 
the amount of time that a participant has before the box must be shipped out, 
are important facts to add at this point. Most boxes hit snags due to a 
participant’s inability to move a box forward. Reasons can be because the 
package arrived while they were out of town, or perhaps because of a busy 
schedule it gets put to the side. There are many rules that can be thought of, 
but it is important to keep them simple and fair. The box is supposed to be a 
fun project for members to participate in. Keep this in mind, but at the same 


time keep a guideline so everybody will have fun. 


3. Finding the participants and creating the list: Once you have 
everything ready to go, it is then time to look for interested participants to 
join your coin box. It’s important to post a copy of the type of box and the 
rules when approaching each person. If they are willing to abide by the 
rules, collect their information and any special requests they may have. If 
anybody has any concerns regarding your rules, it is important to discuss 
them then, before the box gets started. Many moderators will limit the 
number of participants on a list; a good number would be 10-15 members. 
More than that, it might take many months or even a year or more to get 
around! This is how the legendary Bigfoot boxes get started, “I signed up, 


heard it existed, but have never seen it. Somebody saw it once I heard.” 


4. Sending out the box: There are two great days in a moderator’s job- the 
day they send out the box and the day they get it back. It’s important to 
make sure that all the contents are in the box and that you keep a copy of the 


rules and list on your desk in case any problems should arise. 


The Elongated Coin Box 


5. Monitoring the box movement: As the moderator, your job isn’t 
complete until the box returns back to your location. To improve the 
success of your coin box, it is important to monitor its location at all times. 
Request that your participants contact you when they get the package, and 
also when it’s shipped out. If a box is stuck at one location in a snag, 
contact the participant and try to work out a solution to move the box on. 
Keep track of each movement on a tracking sheet. This will help you 


remember dates if your memory is as poor as mine. 


6. Have fun: The most important part of being the moderator is having fun. 
Keep track of what works and what doesn’t. What works tn my coin box 


might not be what you prefer. Use what you can, and enjoy the wonderful 


world of elongates. 





The Elongated Coin Box 


PARTICIPANT 
DUTIES 


The Elongated Coin Box 


PARTICIPANT DUTIES: 

Even if you are just a participant, you too have responsibilities. When 
a moderator requests collectors to sign up, know what you’re getting into. 
Review the rules and most importantly follow the Golden Rule when the 
box does arrive at your location. If each participant trades coins in and out 
in a courteous manner, then the following member should have an equally 
pleasant experience. Listed below are a few topics that you might wish to 


read. 


I. Review the rules: Before you agree to sign up for the box, read the 
posted rules, know what type of coins are in the box and understand what 
your duties are as a participant. If there is any rule that you do not agree 
with or you cannot follow, contact the moderator and discuss the purpose for 


this additional rule, or perhaps don’t participate in that box. 





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The Elongated Coin Box 


2. Provide list information: Be prepared to provide the requested 
information. A moderator might request additional information from you as 
needed. Realistically a box of 100 coins can add up to a decent amount of 
money, the moderator might want to be able to contact you in case the 


package is lost, damaged, or in a snag. 


3. Be courteous: Only keep possession of the box as long as necessary. If 
your schedule is too hectic or perhaps you’re going on vacation and you 
don’t have time to get to the box for a week or two, send it on. Contact the 
moderator and tell them of your circumstances. Most of them will be willing 
to work with you and perhaps your name can be added to the list at a later 
date. Be aresponsible participant. Don’t be the cause of an unnecessary 


snag. | 


4. Report box status: It always helps the moderator if you contact them 
when the package arrives and leaves your location. Also, tf the box is in 
disarray, discuss this with the moderator upon receipt. If the box is an all 
copper box and it arrives full of zincs, let them know. Some moderators 
might request that you send the box back to them once you’re done with the 


package, especially if it’s full of trash so they can take corrective actions. 


5. Trading coins: When exchanging coins in and out of the box, follow the 
Golden Rule; “Don’t put anything into the box that you yourself wouldn’t 
want to add to your collection.” Do not place coins into the box that might 


be considered trash, and it’s usually frowned upon to upgrade your coins. By 


The Elongated Coin Box 


placing quality coins back into the box you ensure that the next individual 


will have an opportunity to gain wonderful coins for their collection as well. 


6. Enjoy: The main part of participating in a coin box is not only to gain 
great coins for your collection, but to enjoy the experience. By participating 


in the coin box you might find one of those hidden gems that you’ve been 


searching for. Good luck. 





20 


The Elongated Coin Box 


SPECIAL 
OPTIONAL 


TOPICS 








The Elongated Coin Box 


Trade ratios: 

Trade ratios are listed under special topics and rules because they 
might not be considered in many boxes. If the coin box is all copper. then a 
ratio wouldn't even need to be considered if everyone follows the rules of 
the box. 

In mixed coin boxes an agreed upon coin value should be put into 
place. In many collectors’ eyes, a zine clongate is not worth the same as a 
nickel or copper EC. If you do not incorporate a strict rule against zinc for 
zincs and copper for coppers, a trade ratio is the best option. Failure to put 
this in your rules will most often result in getting back a box full of zincs. 

This system works by assigning a trade value to each type of coin. 
Each coin will be traded on a 1|-for-1 basis for like coins. Rarer coin types 
have a higher trade value; even rollers with their own machines often roll 
other denominational coins in smaller quantities due to the higher cost of the 
host coin, and the possibility of damage some of these coins can cause their 


equipment. 





COIN TYPE TRADE VALUE 
Copper (1909-1982CU) I trade value 
Dime 2 trade value 
Dollar - 4 irade value 
Half Dollar 4 trade value 
Nickel 2 trade value 
Quarter 2 trade value 
Steel Cent 2 trade value 
Zinc 72 trade value 





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The Elongated Coin Box 


Therefore, if you take out [| nickel EC, you must replace it with a coin 
or coins whose value is equal in a trade value of 2. This scale can be 
changed to fit your needs; some collectors might assign a higher value to 
half dollars and dollar ECs. It would be tough for me as a roller or collector 
to ever trade a half dollar roll with a trade value of 4. for zincs that have a 


trade value of 4, even if it is 8 zincs! 


Retired coin values: 

Many collectors assign a double value to retired coins. In my opinion 
it is hard to qualify a coin as truly retired unless the die has been destroyed 
or altered. New collectors have also classified private rolls erroneously as 
retired. If you need to assign a double value to retired coins due to the 


rarity, keep these coins on your trade list, it merely confuses the box. 


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The Elongated Coin Box 


Copper or zinc, the unknown EC 

Have you even had a coin where you couldn’t tell if it was copper or 
zinc? Before you send it out in a trade or put it in the coin box, know for 
sure which one it is. There are a few ingenious methods that one can use. 
One of the tried and true methods is called the Popsicle Stick Balance Beam; 


another method is to use a small inexpensive digital scale. 


Popsicle stick balance beam: 

It’s a simple solution, plus you get to enjoy a Popsicle to get the stick. 
Take a Popsicle stick and place a copper coin at each end, lay a pencil flat on 
the table, I like to use one that isn’t all the way round so it won’t roll. Set 
the Popsicle stick centered on the pencil crosswise and adjust it back and 
forth until it balances the two copper pennies. Mark with a pen the position 
of the copper coins and the fulcrum point (part where the pencil sits under 
the beam). Remove one of the copper coins from one end. You can then 
place the unknown EC in the place where the copper coin was. Sometimes a 
small piece of double-sided tape can be used to hold the coins in place. If it 
balances, it’s copper. Ifthe copper penny drops and lifts the EC, the EC is 


obviously lighter and zinc. 


Digital scale: 
I’ve found it quicker and easier to invest in a small pocket digital 
scale. [’ve bought one online for $10 or less. Copper cents will weigh in the 


neighborhood of 3.11 grams, zincs at 2.5 grams. 


The Elongated Coin Box 


Terminology 


Box: A package of elongates sent from one individual to the next for the 
purpose of trading. Progression is determined by the list that is formulated 


by the moderator. Its contents are dictated by the topic and rules. 


Cherry Picking: Breaking designated sets by pulling out choice coins or 
possibly only taking the non-generics out of a set and leaving the rest. 
Actions such as these negatively affect the contents of a box and are often 


included in the box rules as an action that participants should not do. 


Golden Rule: Don’t put anything in the box that you yourself wouldn’t 


want to add to your own collection. 


List: Printed page containing names and addresses of the box participants, 
usually in numerical order. When the participant receives the coin box they 
cross their name off the list and upon completion of the trades, send the box 


to the next participant on the list. 
Moderator/Creator: Individual or group in charge of seeding the box, 
creating the list, and formulating the rules. The moderator is also the person 


who supervises the progression of the package as it moves along its journey. 


Participants: Listed members enrolled in the coin box. 


25 


The Elongated Coin Box 


Private Machines: A machine that is operated by a roller in their home or 
work shop. These machines usually will not have vending mechanisms and 
most of the times are not available to the general public. Rollers with 
private machines often do custom work for collectors and businesses that 


would like a specially designed elongate created. 


Rules: A posted and agreed upon set of guidelines put in place to facilitate 
smooth transition and trading summary for the participants, these are 
formatted to prevent trash in the box and other anomalies. (A sample rules 


page ts enclosed in this booklet.) 


Seeding the Box: Initial elongates used to create the package of coins. 
Particular style and content are often predetermined by the rules of the box. 
Common themes include: all copper, sets, theme parks, or zoos. Typical 


sized package is around 100 or more coins. 


Snag: Any event or person that stops or impedes the forward progress of 
the box. Snags are often caused by list individuals who do not forward the 


box in a timely manner for whatever reason. 


Trash: Short, off-center, misrolled, or any other elongate that would be 
considered an inferior product. For example: zinc in an all copper box, 
poorly rolled coins, etc. Too many inferior products placed in a box will 
ruin the integrity of the package. Below is a picture showing examples of 


coins that might be considered trash. 





The Elongated Coin Box 





Half image Late Start Misroli Early Start Misroil 


Upgrading: Ifa participant exchanges an elongate from the box with the 
same elongate from their collection because the coin in the box is in better 
condition, this is called an upgrade. This is a practice that ts heavily 
frowned upon in the coin box, because if everybody did this the quality 


content of the box will quickly degrade. 


Vended Machine: Elongate souvenir machine most collectors are familiar 


with. These can be found at zoos, museums, amusement parks, and other 


tourist type venues. They are often equipped with a mechanism that accepts 


two quarters and a penny. 


27 


The Elongated Coin Box 


RULES & FORMS 









The Elongated Coin Box 


COIN BOX RULES 





Follow the Golden Rule; “Don’t put anything into this box that you 


yourself wouldn’t want to add to your own collection.” 
No cherry picking or upgrading. 
Clean copper for clean copper, or clean copper only. 


Contact moderator upon receipt of the coin box, and report any 


abnormalities. 
Follow trade ratio if applicable. 


Outgoing coin box must be packaged to ensure safe delivery to the 
next list member. Make sure to cross your name off the list, and place 
all items back into the box (coins, list and rules). Ship via Flat Rate 
Priority Envelope. Please note postal regulations only allow a single 


strip of tape across the flap and nowhere else. 


Contact the moderator with shipping (out) information. 





par) 


1. Name: 


Address: 


2. Name: 


Address: 


3. Name: 


Address: 


4. Name: 


Address: 


5, Name: 


Address: 


6. Name: 


Address: 


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The Elongated Coin Box 


COIN BOX LIST 


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7. Name: 


Address: 


8, Name: 


Address: 


9, Name: 


Address: 


10. Name: 


Address; 


11. Name: 


Address: 


12. Names 


Address: 


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3. Name> 


Address: 


The Elongated Coin Box 


MODERATORS TRACKING SHEET 


E-MAIL 


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a1 


soto 


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The Elongated Coin Box 


So many coins, so little time... 





tus 


tl 


Thank you for reading my elongated coin booklet, | would appreciate any 


questions or comments on this topic. Please feel free to contact me at: 
Tyler Tyson 
3326 Exchange Place 


Wichita, Ks. 67217 


- [can also be reached via e-mail at: zyturgion@ hotmail.com